Trying to pick the best new car of the year causes endless arguments among motoring journalists – every single year. Every automotive title has its own ideas about how such a title should be awarded, based on their own criteria.
Every car reviewer is a human being with their own ideas and their own preferences. Every car review is one person’s (or one group of people’s) opinion of how good or bad a car is. If you’re only relying on one source, you’re not getting the full picture.
Our approach at The Car Expert is simple. Using the power of our exclusive Expert Rating Index, we’ve tracked new car reviews from 35 of the UK’s leading motoring websites over the last 12 months and compiled all of the scores awarded to each new model. All of those scores are fed into our sophisticated algorithm that accounts for the various different scoring system that the different websites and magazines use. And we’ll use that data to produce our awards for the very best new cars you can buy.
There are a couple of changes to this year’s awards worth mentioning. One is that we’ve dropped the Euro NCAP requirement (see below) as not enough cars were tested this year. We’d have preferred not to, but we wouldn’t have had enough cars eligible to make the awards worthwhile.
The second is that we’ve dated the awards to reflect the coming year rather than the year just ending. This caused some internal debate, but ultimately marketing benefits won out over strict technical accuracy…
We’ll be revealing the winners, including our overall Car of the Year 2024 title, at 10am on Monday 4 December.
Best new cars and class champions
The new models certainly grab all of the attention from the motoring media, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re better than what’s already available.
In each of our award categories, we recognise not just the best model launched in the last 12 months but also the top-ranked cars overall. In some cases, a new model has jumped straight to the top of the pile while, in others, an existing car is still top dog.
To help our readers appreciate the relative quality of the best newcomers, we’ve come up with Best New Models and Class Champions for each category. And, recognising the rapid growth of electric cars against the decline of petrol and diesel versions, we have separate class champion recognition for the very best electric and internal combustion cars.
A new model is a car that has arrived in the UK in the last 12 months – which means cars on the road and registered, not just announced or available to order but arriving sometime next year. You should be able to pop down to your local dealer and see any of our award winners in the metal – and buy on one the spot.
In previous years, we have insisted that all winners must have a current, valid Euro NCAP safety rating of at least four stars. Unfortunately, we’ve had to remove that requirement for this year because there simply haven’t been enough new cars rated by Euro NCAP by the time our entries closed.
Last year, the safety organisation tested 66 different new cars. This year, it’s only six (although another six or so will be tested after our deadline has passed). That means that most of the new cars launched this year would be ineligible.
A few cars were ineligible last year because they hadn’t been tested, but have since received a complying Euro NCAP score so they included in this year’s awards. Assuming that there are a suitable number of ratings published next year by Euro NCAP, we anticipate this requirement will return for next year’s awards.
The class of 2023
Here, in alphabetical order, are the cars that are eligible for The Car Expert Awards 2024. An asterisk denotes a car that was launched in 2022 but only received a Euro NCAP score in 2023, so it was ineligible for last year’s awards.
The awards will be announced at 10am on Monday 4 December, so check back for all the winners!
A look back at last year’s results